ReNew CPO Homes - History of Las Vegas

A Brief History of Las Vegas from a Real Estate Perspective

Las Vegas is, once again, a city on the rise.

The city has seen a resurgence in tourism and convention attendance, housing demand is up, and businesses are opening or moving back. In honor of this recent comeback, this article will take a look at the roots of Las Vegas. 

How Sin City Came to Be.

The city was first founded in 1905 when 110 acres were purchased along the Las Vegas Creek outside of Reno to create a watering hole for travelers heading to Los Angeles. A small community formed on what would become downtown Las Vegas Boulevard. 

By the 1930s, Las Vegas was a ranching town that was completely reliant upon agriculture. The population was around 50 people. One man, Jess Willard, would change everything for the city and the region in 1931 when he knocked Jack Dempsey from his feet in a famous bout coined “The Battle of the Long Count”. The fight turned Las Vegas into a boxing city and soon after that, gambling arrived on the scene as well. Over time, more people began to visit Vegas to try their luck at gaming tables and slot machines.

How Gaming Shaped Las Vegas.

In 1937, R.J. O’Brien built a high-stakes card room in downtown Las Vegas. The room was built with a mahogany finish and the floor would later serve as the location for an ice skating rink in the 1940s. In 1942, the city had three gaming halls. The downtown business community began the process of acquiring more county land for permitted gaming. Shortly after, in 1945, a T-shaped building was completed at Main and Fremont streets and it was called the Flamingo Hotel. This hotel was a five-star resort that would go on to become a symbol of Las Vegas’ modern age.

In 1950, Horseshoe Resort opened on what would become part of the Strip and in 1952, Jerry Smith Jr.

The 1950s brought a new era for all of Nevada. Business boomed in Las Vegas and several prominent resorts were developed that would go on to define the city. The El Rancho, Sands, Desert Inn (built in 1952), Riviera, and Sahara were all built during this time period.

At the end of the decade, Las Vegas had a population of around 19,000. The boom continued in the 1960s with new resorts being built and more expansion on the Strip. Casinos such as the Stardust opened in 1966 and became known as one of the most beautiful casinos ever constructed. The following year, the Frontier Hotel was completed with a lavishly designed casino and hotel including an indoor waterfall and a 110-foot high neon cowboy on its roof.

At this point, Las Vegas was still very much a rural town but things were changing quickly. The city became the fastest-growing in the nation, increasing at a rapid pace. But while Las Vegas was on a roll, Clark County was struggling with financial issues. The county had already purchased land near downtown to create a new Las Vegas Convention Center, and would go on to build the Thomas & Mack Center which opened in 1983.

How Tourism Shaped The Las Vegas Strip.

By the end of the 1980s, there were 35 casinos throughout Clark County. The city had expanded south of the Strip with new additions to the community. The first of these new areas was Paradise, which was established in 1989. When the 1990s began, Las Vegas had over 40 casinos and as many as 70,000 hotel rooms.

From 1997 to 2000, new developments saw the creation of The Venetian Macao and Aladdin’s and in 2005, Wynn Las Vegas opened its doors. Today, there are more than 45 hotels with upwards of 90,000 rooms on the Strip alone.

What Does This Mean for Vegas Locals and Newcomers?


If you’re planning on upgrading your home, chances are you won’t have to look far to find something you like. Las Vegas homes offer a variety of architectural styles and amenities you won’t find anywhere else. 


Vegas is resilient & it’s not going anywhere. 

What started as a small town on the outside of the map soon became an urban playground on all sides. Anywhere in Nevada, Las Vegas will make you feel welcome and have adventures available at every turn. There are top-tier schools and colleges to attend, thousands of jobs await those seeking employment, and there’s always something new happening in town. 

Take Advantage of a Revolutionary Real Estate Program

So you’ve thought it over and want to buy or sell your home in Las Vegas, now what? 

The best thing you can do is get informed. Our ReNew Certified Pre-Owned Home experts are based in Las Vegas and are happy to speak with you. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, you can’t go wrong with a ReNew Certified Pre-Owned Home.

We'd Love to Hear From You

See if your home qualifies.